Beans ~ Planting Guide

Bean Plants

Beans, Beans the incredible fruit, the more you eat the more you toot , the more you you toot the better you feel so plant some beans for every meal. 

Actually beans aren’t a fruit, but you already knew that. Beans [and peas] are an easily grown annual vegetable and a very popular and versatile garden crop. There is a wide range of plant sizes and beans can be fit into just about any garden scheme. There are also varieties that thrive in varying climates. They are susceptible to frosts and should be grown only in warmer months in Cold regions, In subtropical climates beans can be grown year round.

Companion Planting

Beans belong to the legume family. Legumes are “nitrogen fixing” plants, they enhance and add nitrogen to the soil, an essential requirement for all successful gardens. Their nitrogen fixing qualities make them a favorite for companion planting schemes such as the three-sisters method , where beans are grown twining around cornstalks with squash growing at the base.

Avoid planting Beans in succession with other legumes / beans.

Good companion plants are Strawberries, cucumbers, melons and celery . Avoid planting near to, or in succession with onions or garlic. See – Companion Planting


Naturally , you want to select bean varieties that will suit your needs as well as the location in which you are planting. Each variety has different requirements for light, spacing, planting, and harvest. Beans such as snap beans are intended to be eaten raw and go well in some salads, others such as string beans are generally boiled and some beans are shelled and dried for later use in cooking.

Beans can either be bush beans or Pole beans. Pole beans grow tall and are frequently vining, they generally need to be trellised to make the best use of vertical space.


Set up trellises and space plants an average of 3 inches apart, although this naturally varies from variety to variety. A section of wire fencing or chicken wire about 5 feet tall is usually sufficient, length will vary depending on the amount of beans you are planting. Pole beans will climb trellises easily, and makes harvest and maintenance that much simpler.

With almost all varieties of both Bush and Pole beans, they can be sown every 2 – 3 weeks to ensure a summers long harvest. Rotate crops annually.

Bush beans which are compact, require less maintenance, are easier to grow as they don’t generally need supports. They can easily be planted in and around other plants, which is great for companion planting schemes as they fix nitrogen in the soil.

When starting bean seeds indoors, their transplant survival ratio is low. It is advisable to do so in peat pots that can placed directly into the soil without disturbing the root system. You might also consider using black plastic mulch to warm the soil.

Seeds should be sown outdoors anytime after last spring frost, minimum soil temp is 48 degrees F, however, some varieties such as Lima Beans require a much higher temperature. Plant 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart, a little deeper for sandier soils. Cover soil to warm if necessary. Keep in mind that these are generalized instructions, always consult the seed packet as the requirements of various cultivars vary slightly.